Hello from New York City – where I’m thinking of South Africa more than usual today, as it commemorates Youth Day, and all the young people who died during Apartheid protests.
* It was a big weekend for Game of Thrones fans, as season 4 came to an end with a major finale. Some have called this season the best one yet. No spoilers here, as some of us are still playing big-time catch-up (while simultaneously trying to finish Orange is the New Black too), but suffice to say, someone died and there was shock. And George RR Martin continues to write more in the series…
* Casey Kasem, long-standing DJ of the American Top 40 and the voice of Shaggy in Scooby Doo died on Sunday, after a long emotional struggle over end-of-life issues. Kasem’s reach was remarkable – we even heard him on syndicated radio in South Africa back in the day. May he rest in peace.
* Angelina Jolie has been made an honorary dame by Queen Elizabeth II, in recognition of her work in raising global awareness of violence against women. The Maleficent actress co-founded the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative along with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague in 2012, but we won’t be calling her a “dame” just yet because she is a foreign citizen.
* In the world of box office ticket sales, 22 Jump Street beat out How to Train Your Dragon 2 for the top spot of the Father’s Day weekend with $60 million. It did even better in its opening weekend than the first one, 21 Jump Street, but coming in just behind The Hangover II, in terms of top record-holder for an R-rated comedy.
* Elton John closed out Bonnnaroo on Sunday night – playing his first American festival show – after dozens of other acts, including Kanye West, who returned to the Tennessee farm after a disastrous show in 2008, the Arctic Monkeys and Sam Smith had performed throughout the weekend.
PS If you didn’t see it, watch Samuel L Jackson recite his infamous Ezekiel passage from Pulp Fiction on Graham Norton’s show.